Turkey’s necks are sometimes underrated as far as meals are concerned. Most people don’t know how to handle them after getting them as part of their whole-turkey purchases. They end up throwing them away. Some well-informed cooks, however, have mastered the art of preparing turkey necks in ways that leave guests or family members asking for second servings.
The correct way to make a mouth-watering delicacy out of turkey necks is by first marinating them before they are roasted, smoked, or slow-cooked.
You can buy them alongside the whole bird or as separate pieces without the rest of the turkey.
Preparation methods are important to note and be keen on because they are the main determiners of how stringy, chewy, tough, or soft your end product will be.
The necks can be bought when they are already smoked and packaged. Buying untreated and fresh necks is the recommendable option because it gives you the chance to decide on the seasonings you prefer to use. This also gives you control over the amount of smoke to expose the meat to, thus controlling the flavors absorbed.
Methods of Preparing Turkey Necks
Wood chips with light and sweet flavors such as cherry, maple, and apple are recommended for smoking turkey neck.
Before this process, ensure that the meat is well cleaned and cut into equal portions.
A marinade containing different ingredients and seasonings such as salt, olive oil, and onions is used to coat the meat for additional flavors and tenderness. The set temperature should not exceed 275° F on the smoker. Smoking time varies between 60 and 90 minutes, depending on the thickness of the turkey necks. When the correct procedure and recipe are followed, your smoked turkey neck will be savory and the meat can peel off the bone.
This method involves mixing the turkey necks with vegetables and stock then bringing them to cook under medium-hot temperature.
The time used in slow cooking should be between 3 to 4 hours depending on the number of necks being cooked. The readiness of the food is determined by the meat’s ability to detach from the bones due to tenderness.
The first step to achieving a properly roasted turkey neck is by browning it. The next step is the addition of stock or water to the cooking pan. Vegetables and seasonings are also included in the mixture to improve the flavor of the meat. The pan should then be put in the oven for roasting. This type of cooking takes about 150 minutes and a temperature of 325° F.
Recipe for Smoked Turkey Neck
- 8 Clean turkey necks
- Seasoned salt- 4 teaspoons
- Brown sugar- 2 tablespoons
- Worcestershire sauce- ½ cup
- Garlic powder- 4 teaspoons
- Black pepper (ground)- 2 teaspoons
- Olive oil (extra-virgin)- ⅔ cup
- Malt vinegar- 4 tablespoons
- Put all the marinade ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and stir them to create a thick mixture. These ingredients include pepper, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and vinegar.
- Add olive oil to the paste and whisk to a blended texture.
- Marinate the turkey necks evenly by placing them in the bowl with the mixture.
- Transfer the meat to a shallow baking pan and refrigerate it for 10 to 12 hours.
- Turn the smoker’s heat to 275° F. Add wood chips to the smoker box or the pellet tube and place it on the burner to heat.
- When smoke starts forming on the grill, place the pan that holds the turkey necks on the opposite side of the smoking burner.
- Let it cook for ½ an hour before lowering the heat to a temperature of 180° F. You can also minimize the vent’s airways at this point to lock in more smoke.
- After smoking for 30 minutes, open the smoker’s top and place a digital thermometer in the meat. Record the internal temperature and leave the necks to smoke for 60 more minutes.
- The meat’s internal temperature should be about 170°F for it to be considered ready.
- Take the pan out of the smoker and rest the meat for about 20 minutes before serving.
- Compatible side dishes such as roast potatoes and steamed vegetables can be served alongside the meal.
Another recipe that can be followed to prepare a crowd-pleasing turkey neck dish is the southern-style smoking recipe. Working with such recipes provides you a great chance to put your culinary skills to practice.